The Puglian Cookbook by Viktorija Todorovska and GIVEAWAY!!!

UPDATE: And the winner is . . . . . . .
Mindy 25414-
I have always wanted to go to Italy (more specifically Rome!) Something about the architecture and just their way of living seems so magical!
Please contact me at [email protected] in the next 48 hours to collect your prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen!

I am a caretaker.  And I love it.

I take care of everybody, all day long, and it fulfills me.
But. . .sometimes. . . .

I neglect to take care of myself.

“How do you forget to eat breakfast Nicole?” my husband lectures. “And then, continue
300-209 to miss lunch too? With nothing to drink all day?” I just nod my head because I know, there is no excuse. But I try.

“It’s just that. . .I have so much to do. . .and then I had to get on the computer, and go get the girls. . . ” Everybody is staring at me now. Nobody believes a word I’m saying. Excuses, excuses.

So, on yet another morning, my husband is off to work, and I gather up the kids for an outing, without eating breakfast. Everyone piles into the car, and I look to my right on the console, and there sits this. . .

Yoplait. Chewy Granola Bar ~ Lowfat. A spoon. And Barbie Swan Princess for their viewing pleasure.

 Breakfast. That my 10 year old daughter had placed there so gingerly for me. Because she noticed,
074-344 I didn’t eat. Because she loves me. Because she doesn’t want my metabolism to slow down.

I vow to do better. Starting today.

– – – – – – – – –

And what a co-winky dink. Look what I have here.
A little something to help me on my journey of taking better care of myself.

A copy of a new cookbook, The Puglian Cookbook, Bringing the Flavors of Puglia Home, by Viktorija Todorovska. All about recipes from the Puglia region, in Italy. The food is  1.) simple 2.) healthful, being based primarily on fresh vegetables 3.) with easy to find ingredients.

No excuses needed.
It’s all the incentive I need.

What I like most about the book: It’s beautiful pictures of the Puglia region. It’s like a history lesson through photography. Landscapes, people, architecture. Breathtaking. It gives a glimpse of the history of this historically poor area of Italy, that eats so richly. Puglian cuisine is peasant food, “noted by its omission or less frequent use of certain ingredients: meat. . .and is used sparingly and mostly in dishes for special occasions.”

What I liked second best about the book: I couldn’t decide what to make 1st. I had the ingredients in my fridge and pantry to most of her recipes, and they are quick! to make.

I started with the Chickpea Soup. Light. Slightly spicy. Summery Soup. We ate it with Crispy Italian Bread, and a salad. My kids gobbled it down, resting on a bed of greens. The meal was basically the cost of the bread and chickpeas, and demanded only about 15 minutes of my attention.

What I liked 3rd, 4th, and 5th about the book: Dinner is lined up for the next week or so. I’m making Linguine with Grape Tomatoes and Capers, Orrecchiette with Three cheeses, Baked Fish, Zucchini Frittata, and Pizza with Greens. And there is a wonderfully easy Coffee Pudding, that has been screaming my name since I opened the book.

So, needless to say, I want to go to Puglia now. DO YOU HEAR THAT MR. WOO? I want to go NOW. As in tomorrow, once I’ve packed.

You come with, if you like.
Once of course, you entered this contest for THE PUGLIAN COOKBOOK, innamarato (sweetheart, in Italian, I’m google friendly like that).


Just answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Where do you want to go NOW? Puglia, Italy? Or somewhere else?

Eligibility and End Date:

Open to USA and Canada. Giveaway will close July 6, 2011 at midnight CST. Winners will be announced on Thursday, July 7, 2011. Winner will be drawn randomly. Winners will be given 48 hours to contact me and claim their prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen randomly.

Love you guys! I hope you get to go wherever you said you wanted to go!

Oh, I almost forgot!
Want the recipe to the Chickpea Soup? Here it is!

Chickpea Soup
Excerpted from The Puglian Cookbook by Viktorija Todorovska.

Copyright © 2010 by the author and reprinted with permission of Agate Publishing.

This soup is simple, delicious, and filling. It is best made with dried beans that have been soaked overnight. The anchovy adds richness without being obvious, and even people who say they do not like anchovies love the layer of flavor they add to this dish. Serve with crusty Puglian bread and good-quality olive oil.

Yield: 6 servings

2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped, divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 anchovy (preferably salt packed), rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste (preferably double concentrated)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot, cover the beans and 2 of the garlic cloves with water. Cook over low heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

2. When the beans are almost done, combine the olive oil, the remaining clove of garlic, and the anchovy in a medium pan. Cook over low heat for a couple of minutes. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the tomato paste, stir to combine all the ingredients, and remove the pan from the heat.

3. Add the garlic and tomato paste mixture to the beans. Add the red pepper flakes, stir well, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the flavors have blended. Add the salt and pepper.

Disclaimer: By the way, I got this book to review and to give to you. No money has exchanged hands. Although, that would have been nice. ALL opinions are all my own. Nobody else, gets a chance to say a durn thang. Peace out, peeps.

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